An Australian couple were charged today with murdering and torturing their 18-month-old twins whose decomposing bodies were found by their elder sister.
The mother, 30, and father, 28, who were not identified, were initially charged with neglect after the woman told police the twins had starved to death, but the prosecutor raised the charges during their court appearance in Brisbane.
The murder and torture charges carry potential life sentences.
Australians have been horrified by the deaths of the two children, who had been dead at least a week before police were called to their middle-class suburban home.
The mother told the court she found the boy and girl dead last week, on Sunday or Monday, but did nothing about it, prosecutor Michelle Clark told Brisbane Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.
The mother allegedly explained to police: “I don’t think I fed them enough.”
The father’s lawyer, Michael Cridland, told the court that his client was not responsible for caring for the twins and had not seen them since Christmas.
The Department of Child Safety was unaware of the twins, and neighbours said they did not know the family had young toddlers.
The twins were reported dead late on Monday after an 11-year-old sister found them in a bedroom of the family home.
They weighed as only as much as newborn babies: 9lb and 8lb.
The couple’s surviving children – aged three, four, five and 11 – are being cared for by their grandmother.
She said the children were “very traumatised, but we are doing the best we can for them, just to know they are wanted and loved”.